Military Car Insurance – How To Save Money On Your Next Policy

Car insurance is a topic many military members pay little attention to. In fact, most people don’t pay attention to it. With everything else going on in our busy lives, it’s easy to set it and forget it. While that is the easiest route to take, it may not be the most financially prudent. Think about the last time you moved or PCS’d. Did you get a new auto insurance quote? Or did you simply update your policy and go about your business as usual? When was the last time you got an new auto insurance quote?

military car insuranceThe easy thing to do when you move is update your current policy to reflect your new address. It only takes 10 minutes on the phone and you can go about your business. But many people don’t realize that requesting quotes from multiple insurance companies only takes a few extra minutes, and can save you hundreds of dollars.

There are other ways to save money too. Making a few small changes to you driving habits or insurance policy can also save you hundreds of dollars a year. The following tips will help you save money on your car insurance rates. Some of them will be easy to do, while others might take a little work. But with a little planning, you can enjoy adequate coverage and save money.

How Military Members Can Save on Car Insurance

There are several other things you can do to keep your auto insurance rates in check. The best place to start is with an annual rate quote. It’s a good idea to compare your insurance rates at least once a year, or any time you move to another location. Even moving across town can affect your insurance rates! We have a list of providers further down in the article. But first, here are some more ways to save on military car insurance:

Good driver or safe driver discounts. There are many factors that contribute to the insurance premium you pay for car insurance. One of these factors is your driving record. If you are prone to speeding and/or accidents you will pay the price in higher insurance premiums. Your driving record to an insurance company is similar to your credit score with a lender. Both are used to assess risk and determine just how much you are going to pay in the long run. Many insurance companies offer discounts the longer you go without a blemish on your record. Some companies even reduce or eliminate your deductible with a good driving record!





Inquire about multiple policy discounts. Many insurance companies offer discounts when you insure one or more vehicles under the same policy, or when you bundle insurance policies together. Examples include homeowners or renters insurance, recreational vehicle or motorcycle insurance, high value property insurance, and more.

Review your driving habits. The number of miles you drive each month affects your rates. You may be able to save money each month by reducing the number of miles you drive, or shifting your primary vehicle to the less expensive vehicle if you own more than one car. Make sure your policy is up to date, especially if your commute changes. You may also be able to get better rates if you have a car you only drive on weekends, to and from car shows, or for special needs. Examples include a classic car, light duty pickup, hunting vehicle, etc.

Ask for other discounts. Some insurance companies also offer additional discounts. Examples include safety features on your vehicle, such as day time running lights, security or safety features, vehicle alarm, or the willingness to put a data recorder on your vehicle so the insurance company can track your driving habits. Some insurance companies also provide discounts for seniors, members of professional organizations or those in specific occupations.

Good Student Discounts. Insuring teems is often very expensive. But studies have shown that students with good grades represent a lower risk class than students with poor grades. Inquire about good student discounts if you have a teen on your policy.

Consider your vehicle. Certain vehicles are simply more expensive to insure than others. Some of the features considered when determining your insurance premium include the make, model, safety features, performance capability and cost to replace or repair the vehicle. This does not necessarily mean that the more expensive your vehicle the higher your premium. However if you are driving a sports car or perhaps a foreign model, you will often find yourself paying more than the run of the mill domestic variety.

military motorcycle insuranceIn some cases, you will be better off insuring certain cars or motorcycles with different insurance providers. For example, when I bought my motorcycle a few years ago I inquired about adding it to my auto policy. My auto insurer at the time, USAA, recommended I look elsewhere for a motorcycle policy because they didn’t believe they would offer competitive rates. They offered me a quote, and I also looked at their recommended provider. It was cheaper for me to insure my car through USAA and my motorcycle through another provider (not many insurance companies would recommend using a competitor, which is one reason I love USAA!).

I later sold my motorcycle and bought a classic muscle car. This time, USAA offered good rates, but the coverage and replacement value were less than if I went with a specialized insurance provider. I recommend looking into insurance through Hagerty if you have a classic or premium auto. They offer excellent rates.




A higher credit score can equal lower premiums. While they don’t seem related, your credit score can actually have a big impact on your insurance premiums. Car insurance companies look at your credit score as a risk indicator. Monitor your credit score to ensure your premiums are where they should be. (learn how to get your free credit score, without a credit card).

Put your vehicle insurance on vacation when you travel or deploy. You can contact your insurance provider and have them reduce your insurance if you won’t be driving your car while you are deployed. For example, I my premiums were reduced to around $10 a month when I deployed because I wasn’t driving the vehicle. I had them change the  policy effective the day after I left, and I reactivated my policy before I returned. Be sure to let them know you won’t be driving the vehicle and be sure to reinstate your policy when you return! (It’s better to put your vehicle in vacation status so your vehicle is insured the entire time, and so you don’t have a break in coverage).

Consider the insurance provider. The insurance industry is a competitive one which means you must review and compare several providers before making your final decision. You can do this with relative ease online where shopping for the best rate has become much easier than it was in the past. When comparing price be sure to compare the coverage as well, the least expensive policy is necessarily the best if you end up paying more out of pocket.

How to Shop for Auto Insurance Quotes

There are dozens of insurance companies, from the major national companies, to local and regional companies. Your mileage may vary, so it’s always a good idea to compare quotes from multiple locations. A few tips: If you are stationed overseas, it’s worth looking into local options found in that country. But also take a look at insurance from companies like USAA and GEICO, both of which often have policies for service members located overseas. I first became a USAA member when I was stationed in the UK because that was the best option for car insurance for me. I looked into a policy from GEICO, but I was only 20 years old and wasn’t old enough for an overseas policy through them (this was well over a decade ago, so their policies may have changed).

It’s a good idea to compare multiple insurance quotes, and to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. So be sure to write down not only the monthly or annual payment, but the insurance terms, deductibles, and other information that will make it easier for you to compare policies. I usually create a spreadsheet and fill in the data as I make the phone calls. The columns in the spreadsheet would look something this:

  • Company, Monthly Price, Annual Price, Coverage, Deductible, Discounts, Roadside Assistance (yes/no), Notes

Having everything in a spreadsheet or written clearly on paper makes the quote process easy and efficient. You can usually get through a quote via phone in about 10 minutes, and you can often get multiple online quotes in a just a couple minutes. Then it’s as simple as comparing the policies on your spreadsheet.

Where to Shop for Auto Insurance Quotes

The following companies offer auto insurance quotes online. As always, the rates will depend on many factors including your driving record, credit score, location, types of vehicles you want to insure, etc. Your best bet is to contact several companies and compare policies before making a decision. We can only list national companies here, so it’s also a good idea to check local or regional insurance carriers.

Get an Auto Insurance QuoteUSAA. I have been a USAA member for over a decade now, and have used them for my auto insurance for most of that time. They have always been helpful when I have made a claim, and even recommended I look at other options when I inquired about insuring my motorcycle and classic Corvette. Their transparency and customer service has earned a life-member. But it’s also a good idea to shop around. Get a free auto rate quote from USAA.

Get a GEICO Quote Today!GEICO. Many people don’t realize this, but GEICO actually got their start based on the USAA model. While USAA focuses on military members and their families, GEICO originally focused on serving Government Employees (Government Employee Insurance Co.). There is no business relation between these two companies now, but GEICO offers an excellent product and affordable rates. As they say – 15 minutes can save you 15% or more on your auto insurance. It’s worth a quote to find out! Click here for a free auto rate quote from GEICO.

Auto Quote from EsuranceEsurance (an All-State Company). Esurance started out as an online insurance company wand was later acquired by Allstate. They offer great rates and excellent customer service. Get a free auto policy quote from Esurance.

The Hartford/AARPThe AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford. The AARP(R) Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford offers AARP members exceptional coverage at great rates. AARP members get an insurance quote and buy car insurance from The Hartford. Available for those age 50 and up. Save on Auto Insurance if you’re over 50. Click here for a Free Quote!.

Allstate. Not only does Allstate have excellent commercials, but they have great customer satisfaction ratings and competitive rates. Get a free auto insurance quote from Allstate.

State Farm. I have numerous friends who use and recommend State Farm. Since they are a full service insurance provider, you can often get bundled insurance policies to save money through them. You can often find additional discounts through them as well. Many State Farm offices are found locally, so check your local phone book to find an agent near you, or check online.

Multiple quotes in one place: The following companies can help you get more than one quote at a time, which may save you time. However, you may also receive a few extra phone calls or emails.

These are just a few of the ways in which you can save money on car insurance. To ensure you are getting the best price and coverage available, spend some time doing your own research and do not be afraid to shop around. There are almost always better deals available if you are just willing to put forth the effort to find them.

Photo credits: Robbie Howell, driver Photographer

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Date published: February 19, 2013.

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Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of this site. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is currently serving in the IL Air National Guard. He also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google.

Comments

  1. Here’s another thought: don’t buy a car for your teen driver.

    USAA told us that with three drivers in our house, but only two cars, our teen would be an “occasional driver” and added to the policy at no additional cost. Of course I let them know that I was the one who’d been demoted to “occasional driver”, but I quickly accepted their generous offer. Even after our teen earned her license and took over all the family errands (further demoting me to “rare driver”), USAA still carried her at no cost.

    USAA continued this when she left for college, only asking that we let them know when she’d be home on breaks. Today she has her own car at her college, and USAA suggested that she pay for her own policy because it’s cheaper than adding her to our policy. That’s saved us thousands of dollars over the last five years!

  2. I’ve been using GEICO since my return to the US and am very happy with their prices, coverage and customer service. They offer a great discount for any military member who signs up. Just let them know you are in the military and that’s it.

    I don’t recall looking at USAA when shopping for car insurance quotes, but GEICO beat every single other company for my situation.

    • GEICO is awesome. Did you know that GEICO was modeled off USAA? GEICO stands for Government Employee Insurance Company. A group of government employees contacted USAA (United Services Automobile Association) about getting into their program, as USAA was only for military members at the time. USAA decided they wanted to stick to their military base, so they gave the business model to the group that eventually became GEICO. Anyway, just a fun bit of trivia. :)

      My recommendation is to shop around, because insurance rates can vary wildly by provider, and they often have low rates to gain new customers, which slowly creep up over time. Some people are better off moving every few years, as long as they have a good driving record. Of course, some companies offer discounts to long-standing customers. So it all varies!

  3. I had no idea that GEICO was modeled after USAA, or that it was started by a group of government employees. Interesting!

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